Spring is always a welcomed change in seasons. Right now we are enjoying the beautiful sight of green emerging everywhere. With the blooms, buds, and beauty comes a not so enjoyable effect we call a-a-a-choooo! (excuse me) ahem… allergies.
An allergy is, basically, an over-reactive response your body has to a normally harmless substance, such as pollen and other environmental substances. When we inhale things, like pollen for instance, a chemical called histamine is released into our bloodstream. This is where our allergic response begins. Both adults and kiddos can be affected with symptoms ranging from sneezing, runny nose, coughing, watery/itchy eyes, and sinus congestion to fatigue, nose bleeds, and headaches.
When used appropriately, herbs offer reliable relief from seasonal allergy symptoms. I have compiled ten herbs that can be used effectively to tame the allergic effects of this delightful season. Remember, always do your OWN research to see what would be best for you and your family. Everyone will respond to herbal remedies differently, so if one herb or herb combo doesn’t do it, try another!
*Disclaimer – This information is for educational purposes only. I am not a medical professional, but a wife who is passionate about natural health and healing. It is important that you take the necessary steps to thoroughly research any herbal remedy before administering anything to yourself or family members.
Curb Allergies with These Herbs
Nettle (Urtica dioica): Contains antihistamines and anti-inflammatory properties, can provide dramatic relief from hay fever symptoms – adults should take 500mg capsules 3 x day, 2-3 teaspoons dried leaves in a cup of freshly boiled water or 1-2 teaspoons tincture 3 x day.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilia): Reduces the intensity and duration of allergies, has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties – adults should take 2-3 teaspoons dried flowers in a cup of freshly boiled water 3-4 x daily or ½- 1 teaspoon tincture 3 x day.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium): Relieves headaches associated with seasonal allergies; NOT appropriate for pregnant or nursing mommas – adults should take up to 380mg capsules 3 x day (or 2-25mg freeze-dried leaves), 1 teaspoon dried leaves in a cup of freshly boiled water or 1-2 teaspoons tincture 2 x day.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Reduces allergic inflammation and relieves coughing, headaches and sore throats – adults should take up to 1000mg 3-4 x daily, ½ teaspoon dried root in a cup of boiling water or ½-1 teaspoon tincture or syrup 2 x day.
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana): Contains sulfur compounds that stimulate blood flow and pack a punch on sinus congestion, it also can deter future allergy attacks – homemade horseradish sauce or ½ – 1 teaspoon of simply fresh, prepared root is needed daily.
Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis): Acts as an antihistamine and is helpful for food allergies as well – adults and children should drink 1-2 teaspoons dried leaves in a cup of freshly boiled water 1-3 x daily.
Rose Hips (Rosa canina): a good source of vitamin C, also helps relieve sore throat – adults and children should take ¼- ½ cup fresh rosehips daily, 1-2 teaspoons dried hips in a cup of boiling water 1-3 x daily.
Garlic (Allium sativum): Contains the anti-inflammatory compound called quercetin which calms allergic responses, also wards off potential sinus infections due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties – NOT appropriate for those on blood thinners – adults should take 1-5 cloves daily, ½-2 teaspoons of garlic honey up to 3 x daily or 500mg capsule 3 x day.
Bee Pollen: While not a herb, any have claimed taking local bee pollen and raw honey cured their seasonal allergies, next year I’ll be trying it from my own bees – adult should start consuming local bee pollen well before the allergy season comes starting with 1/8 teaspoon and working up to 1 teaspoon per day. Don’t try this if you are severely allergic to pollen without consent of your health care provider.
Echinacea (E. purpurea, E. angustifolia): Stimulates immune boosting cells and may prevent further illness especially sinus infections – adults should take 500mg capsules 2 x day, 2 teaspoon dried herb/root in a cup of freshly boiled water or 1/2-1 teaspoon tincture daily.
Take this list and start researching the best herbal remedy to help control your allergies. Other options to consider: herbal steams, essential oils, nasal rinse using a neti pot and chiropractic/acupuncture care. Spring time should be something everyone can enjoy without worrying about the annoyance of allergies.